Saarc Chamber of Commerce president to arrive in Pakistan today

LAHORE (INP): President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ruwan Edirisinghe will arrive in Pakistan on Tuesday (today) on a two-day visit to hold high level meeting with SAARC CCI Headquarter Building Committee besides meeting with local business community and government officials to accelerate the efforts of the SAARC Chamber in promoting economic, trade and investment linkages across the region. SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry senior vice president (SVP) Iftikhar Ali Malik, who is also chairman Building Committee, said here Monday that Ruwan, a leading industrialist and investor from Sri Lanka, is due to arrive in Islamabad on Tuesday where he will meet the business community and hold important meeting with SAARC CCI Headquarter building committee to evaluate the construction work of the building. He said that 95 per cent structure of the building has been completed under the supervision of high profile internationally accredited architects and designers.

He said that the government of Pakistan and magnates have contributed over 80 per cent of the total of the cost of the project valued at more than rupees one billion. He hoped that it will be completed before the end of current calendar.

Rs183m released for construction of special economic zone in Mirpur

MIRPUR (APP): AJK government released over Rs 183 million during the last fiscal year 2017-18 for the construction of the first phase of the mega Special Economic Zone approved under the gigantic CPEC projects. Mirpur would have the giant 9th SEZ over an area of 9500 kanals of land under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, the AJK State Industries Department told at a high level meeting, chaired by Chief Secretary of AJK government Mian Waheed ud din here on Monday. AJK Commerce & Industries Department officials, Commissioner Mirpur division Muhammad Tayyeb, DIG Police Mirpur Range Yaseen Qureshi and other officials of the District administration were also present on this occasion. Earlier, the chief secretary visited the site of the Special Economic Zone and discussed and reviewed various aspects of the project with the concerned senior officials. Addressing the meeting, the chief secretary said that preliminary work for construction of the world-class 9th Special Economic zone has so far been started.

He said that the SEZ would have the required latest infra structure and facilities in line with the needs of the modern age.

The CS directed the concerned departments to immediately apprise the Monitoring Cell, established at his (Chief Secretary) office in Muzaffarabad, of any bottleneck in the way of the development/construction process of the Mirpur SEZ.

Earlier, Mirpur Divisional Commissioner Muhammad Tayyeb Chaudhry briefed the chief secretary about pace of the progress at under construction development projects of mass public welfare in all the three         Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimbher districts of the division.

The Commissioner apprised the CS of the completion of the ongoing development projects within the stipulated time frame.

CRIS director expects 30 percent drop in kinnow yield this year

SARGODHA (APP): Kinnow yield could drop by 30 percent this year as compared to last year's produce due to change in weather condition and its impacts. Director Citrus Research Institute Sargodha (CRIS) Muhammad Nawaz Maken told this scribe that orchards needed proper care to get best results in coming season. Last year, he said that citrus produce was satisfactory, adding that some orchards were also presenting good condition in current season which needed proper care by the growers. Kinnow orchards needed proper irrigation now as hot weather and dryness has been creating negative effects on trees, he added. Kinnow export target was achieved during last year, he said and added that it was also a natural phenomenon that sometime orchards' production decreased from previous year. He advised farmers to consult with the CRIS for adopting modern technology for their orchards like drip irrigation and sprinkling of water.

Orchards are demanding proper irrigation, spray and care in the prevailing weather, adding that kinnow scab and concur attack was common in current weather, he added.

He urged farmers that close liaison among farmers and CRIS was required to get best results from orchards to contribute in export quality production.

Support price can double edible oil production, cut import bill

MULTAN (APP): Edible oil import bill is ranked second on Pakistan's import expenses list after petroleum products, however, it can be cut drastically by enhancing local production in a coordinated manner and on a war-footing. President All Pakistan Oil Mills Association (APOMA), Khawaja Muhammad Faazil told APP on Monday that Pakistan imports edible oil to meet 75 per cent of its domestic requirements annually and 94 per cent of it is palm oil. Despite being an agriculture rich country, Pakistan is the fourth largest importer of edible oil, APOMA president said, adding it should be a point of concern for agriculture researchers. Khawaja, however, added that Pakistan can improve a lot in just two to three years provided support price for all oil seed crops is announced and purchase of the whole production is ensured for farmers' encouragement. Moreover, special cultivation zones be demarcated for promotion of oil seed crops and skill development programmes should be launched all over the country.

An investment in Pakistani rupee at home would save billions in US dollars, Khawaja Faazil said.